Monday, April 30, 2018

Tasting: Talisker. Port Ruighe

Talisker was built as the only distillery on Isle of Sky in 1830 by brothers Kenneth and Hugh MacAskill. Over the next two hundred years the distillery change ownership more than a handful of times, until Scottish Malt Distillers (predecessors of Diageo) bought the distillery in 1930. Diageo remains the owner today. In 1960 a large fire damaged the stills and the distillery had to close down for the next two years.
Talisker malted their own barely until 1972. From then on, the barley was malted
at Glen Ord in the Highlands. Talisker’s barley shares the same peat level as Lagavulin; 22PPM.

In 1988 Diageo launched its six “Classic Malt” series, where Talisker 10 is included - alongside Cragganmore, Dalwhinnie, Glenkinchie, Oban and Lagavulin - making Talisker 10 one of the most famous scotch single malt whiskies in the world, and one that many whisky novices starts out with.

Talisker’s current range includes a 10, 18, 25 and 30 years old single malt whisky, and Talisker’s NAS expressions; Sky, Storm, Dark Storm, Port Ruighe, 57° North and Neist Point.

Talisker. Port Ruighe
Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Distillery: Talisker
Region: Island (Isle of Skye)
Age: NAS
Proof/ABV: 45,8%
DK Price: $74USD/450dkk
Release: Ongoing

Points: 81/100

Talisker’s Port Ruighe was added to their range back in 2013 – the same year Talisker released their Storm - as the only double matured/finished whisky in their portfolio, well besides their Distillers Edition bottles, which have been finished in Amoroso casks.

Port Ruighe has been matured in American Oak and European Oak refill casks, along with deeply charred casks and then finished in port casks, some claims, that we are talking Ruby Port, but Talisker hasn’t specified the exact barrel. It’s a NAS whisky, bottled at Talisker’s standard 45,85 ABV.

The port wine cask reveals itself right away and are dominating the nose. Plum, dark chocolate, and much lighter smoke than we have grown accustomed to from Talisker’s other expressions.

It is, not surprisingly, a sweeter Talisker than we are normally being presented with. Sweet Port wine and honey mixed with Talisker’s usual red chilli pepper note - thank god it’s still present – and salty peaty caramel.

Long sulfur peaty finish.

Overall impression:
I wasn’t overly excited about the Port Ruighe when I first opened it. Some wine finished whiskies got a tendency to go sour on the distiller and mask the distilleries flavor profile in an unfortunate way, and I believe this Talisker is a good example of that. But somehow, over the last six months or so, I still manage to get past the halfway mark of the bottle, and yesterday I brought it with me, to our ester vacation in the cabin, to write this review.

Maybe it’s due to the fact that I’m on vacation right now, but the Port Ruighe has started to grow a bit more on me, and I don’t find it nearly as unsatisfying as I did when opening it.
But then again, I got a nice fire going, and I’m writing this review, with our old dog at my feet, and the night is slowly settling in while the rain is pouring down outside, so everything in its right place, right Tom? 81 points, let’s move on shall we….

Photo & Review By: Hasse Berg